Dusseldorf Airport

Souvenir Sunday at Dusseldorf Airport


I stopped by Dusseldorf Airport last week to meet Ray, the airport’s new car parking robot, and learned that Remember had opened its first airport location just a few days earlier.

You may have seen the colorful products from this German company in design and decoration shops in museums, boutiques and bookstores, but airport officials were tickled that the company had chosen the DUS pre-security shopping arcade as its first airport outpost.

dus remember game

Among the bright and boldly patterned items that filled the newly installed shelves, I found games, dishware, notbooks, scarves and trays. But the souvenir that caught my eye were these Tripbooks.

DUS remember trip book

Like me, you may come home from a trip with a crude version of this created by a memo pad and an envelope stuffed with the ticket stubs and paper you’ve picked up along the way. But this handy notebook has both empty pages for travel notes and plenty of pocketed plastic sheets for saving and organizing small objects that help us remember where we’ve been.


I spotted the shop on my arrival in Dusseldorf and meant to go back before my departure to purchase a few for my next trips. But workmen were fiddling with the sliders on the glass door and the store was closed during the shopping hour I’d set aside before my flight.

So I have only these photos to help me remember Remember’s first airport shop.

Dusseldorf Airport: event central

A few years back I had the good fortune to tour Germany’s shiny Dusseldorf Airport.

The early morning visit came on the heels of a long Oktoberfest night and I was having a bit of hard time paying attention and understanding our guide’s heavily accented English.

But I perked right up when we crossed a huge indoor public space and the guide said the word “circus.”

Turns out that on first Sunday of every month Dusseldorf Airport turns its public hall into an event space for the community.

Free events have included a ski jump with real snow, dance festivals featuring celebrities from Germany’s version of “Dancing with the Stars,” a florist championship, sports previews for the summer Olympics and soccer championships, fashion shows and, yes – a circus.

Here’s a highlight they’ve made of some of the past events:

Headis (tennis with your head) at Dusseldorf Airport

We’re used to seeing passengers in airports running to catch their flights. But on Sunday, May 6, many of the people running through Germany’s Dusseldorf Airport won’t be trying to catch a plane – they’ll be demonstrating their Olympic sport.

On Sunday, from 11 am till 6 pm, Dusseldorf Airport will present “Airport Games.” The event that will feature athletes and Olympic participants in full gear playing tennis, soccer, table tennis, rowing and many other sports.

In addition to watching the sports performances, regular airport visitors will be able to participate in the sports. According to an airport statement, “Athletes will guide the audience through various sports, including headis (table tennis played with your head) and crossboccia (boccia played with bean-bag like balls in a borderless, 3-dimensional area.”

Airport Games is part of the monthly event series “Airlebnis” (Air Experience) at DUS, which turns the terminal into a public event space the first Sunday of each month. Past events have included circus performances, ski jumps, singing concerts and other events.

Dusseldorf Airport’s far-out food festival

On the first Sunday of each month you’ll find a party or some sort of unusual event going on in the vast public lobby area of Dusseldorf International Airport (DUS).

Last Christmas it was a circus, complete with aerialists and clowns. Last month, the airport was the site of the 2010 German’s best parkour championship. And during the winter Olympics, they trucked in snow and built the world’s largest indoor ski jump right there in the lobby.

What’s on tap for this month’s “Airlebnis,” or air experience?

On July 4th from 11 am until 6 pm, the airport will be hosting a food festival at the airport.

Open to travelers and the general public, “The Terminal Cooks” will include celebrity cooking shows and the opportunity to sit down at one of two long dining tables for a 6-course gourmet meal.

No time to dine? The ‘air experience’ will include cooking classes and lectures on everything from cocktail mixing and sushi rolling to table etiquette and napkin folding.

At German airports, bees are the canaries

Girl in bee costume. Field Museum

(Courtesy Field Museum, via Flickr Creative Commons)

According to a story by Tanya Mohn in the New York Times, Düsseldorf International Airport and seven other airports in Germany are using bees as ‘biodetectives.’  Clues about the air quality around each airport show up in the honey.

“The first batch of this year’s harvested honey from some 200,000 bees was tested in early June…and indicated that toxins were far below official limits…”

That’s good news of course, but here’s my favorite part of the story:

Beekeepers from the local neighborhood club keep the bees. The honey, “Düsseldorf Natural,” is bottled and given away as gifts.

The article describes what sort of substances the honey was tested for (“certain hydrocarbons and heavy metals”) and offers intriguing information about the pros, cons and reliability of biomonitoring – the use of living organisms to test environmental health:

Assessing environmental health using bees as “terrestrial bioindicators“ is a fairly new undertaking, said Jamie Ellis, assistant professor of entomology at the Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory, University of Florida in Gainesville. “We all believe it can be done, but translating the results into real-world solutions or answers may be a little premature.” Still, similar work with insects to gauge water quality has long been successful.

You can read the full article here. And you can be sure I’m busy as one of those airport bees trying to figure out how to get some of that Dusseldorf honey for Souvenir Sunday.